So you all know the saying about a glass that happens to be half full of water, right? (If you don't, you are probably an alien and shouldn't admit it.)
If you know me (at all), you know that I am generally a "glass is half full" kind of person. I have many MANY quotes hanging in my office reminding me that "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference" ~Churchill or "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it!" or (from today's daily calendar) "I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back." ~Rubenstein. I actually really do believe that "Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be." ~Lincoln - and my all time favorite quote.
But having a tendency to lean toward choosing to be happy does not mean that I always AM happy.
Sometimes the perfect storm of tough days at work and annoying people and illness and too many events on the calendar combines with impending travel induced stress and a hormonal surge and a realization that there are a million projects that need done around my poor neglected house and I am left feeling a little defeated.
It's times like this that I have to dig a little deeper to find my happy place. (Luckily for me, I happen to live with a guy who is also a half-full believer and is usually very good at getting me back on track.)
I was walking through my messy, messy house the other day when I decided something. (Seriously, it's messy ALL THE TIME!) I was walking around getting more and more irritated about the random single socks laying amidst the forgotten toys. Stepping over a pile of shoes (some of which were mine) and trying to find an open spot on the counter somewhere between all the various piles, which probably meant different things when they were started. I sighed as I looked at the dishes in the sink and the ever-present piles of laundry waiting to be washed and folded and put away. I know my bathroom cabinets are a nightmare and the basement storage area desperately needs attention. We want to move kids around and redecorate and do something about the fact that my dining room (the first thing you see when you walk into my house) has turned into a VERY ill-equipped sewing room. All of these things about my poor poor house could easily turn my mood sour.
But I decided that I don't just want to be a glass is half full, but from now on I'm also going to be a window half smudged kinda gal.
I'm sure if I didn't have kids, I would have a cleaner house. I'm certain that without the need to organize and plan for 4 little dudes, I would be able to spend more time doing things like sweeping out the garage. I know that if I didn't have the expenses associated with raising a family we would be able to afford to have someone come in and repaint my disgusting baseboards - although they probably wouldn't be quite so disgusting. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am positive that without my active boys, and also the crazy dogs, my windows would remain blissfully smudge free between their yearly professional cleanings.
And I would be no where near as happy as I am today.
I would not trade my morning snuggles and bedtime kisses for a simpler life. I would not trade the pride I feel when I think about my oldest moving on to a new school very soon for fewer school meetings. I would not trade the sound of giggles coming from the toy room for a nice and tidy sewing room. I would never think about trading the sound of a 2 year old saying "I wuv you mama" for anything.
So I will deal with the chaos. I will live with the mess. And I will remind myself to rejoice in the smudge on a window - even if it does make me wonder how in the world it got there!
To all you moms out there, I wish you the very Happiest of Mother's Days. I am particularly thankful for my own mom, who not only overlooks my messy, messy house, but has turned out to be a real friend. I think she's just about the coolest person I know - even if she does like ugly brown quilts. ;)
PS - In case you have ever wondered, it's very difficult to get a picture of a smudged window. This particular picture works because the nasty hand print (which is still there) is SO VERY DISTINCT that you can see it on the glass even in a photo. Believe me when I tell you that the lower half of that window almost looks frosted at this point. :) Also, I'm sending along a very belated Easter picture of the cousins - in case anyone wants to look at a real picture and not proof that my house is messy messy messy!